I had just remarked to Romie this morning, "It seems like we should be seeing Monarchs by now." And by late afternoon, as if my voice traveled via the wind, I saw the first one fly around the side of the house, back towards the garden.
The Monarchs that made the trip to Mexico last fall began their trek northward the middle of April. When they reached the southern United States, they stopped when they found a food source, mated, laid eggs, and the resulting Monarch offspring is what we see when they arrive here in Ohio in the spring.
We are a certified Monarch Waystation, and last year, we had Monarchs flitting about the yard and gardens every day until they started their migration in the fall. We've seen many different kinds of butterflies here already this spring, but until today, no Monarchs.
We are located directly in the path of their northern migration, and I'm glad they found our garden again, as the plants they love best are lush and green and ready to support their babies. I'll be watching for signs of eggs on the Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), parsley (Petroselinum crispum), and rue (Ruta graveolens). Last year, that's where we saw caterpillars of many types of butterflies, and the Monarchs, of course, loved the Asclepias the best.
So many signs of summer are here, as they should be, since it's less than two weeks away until the calendar says so and the summer solstice occurs (June 21). It's hard to believe that just two short months ago, we had snow!